Churchill Downs Picks: Baby Yoda feels the force on May 4

Derby Week is moving right along ... with some rain and showers afoot, we will not let that dampen our spirits! Handicapping is on ... with turfwriter J.N. Campbell's selections, below.
Derby Week is moving right along ... with some rain and showers afoot, we will not let that dampen our spirits! Handicapping is on ... with turfwriter J.N. Campbell's selections, below.

Churchill Downs Picks - Wednesday, May 4, 2022

  • Race 1: 7-1-6-4
  • Race 2: 3-1/1A-2-7
  • Race 3: 2-5-1-4
  • Race 4: 1-7-5-6
  • Race 5: 4-2-5-9
  • Race 6: 5-7-2-1/1A
  • Race 7: 1-5-7-6
  • Race 8: 8-7-4-3
  • Race 9: 9-6-4-8
  • Race 10: 9-7-5-4
  • **Most Likely: Extreme #5 (Race 6)**
  • **Best Value: Speight’spercomete #1 (Race 7)**

The historic track in Louisville ... correct ... Churchill Downs ... is set to host the 148th Edition of the Kentucky Derby come Saturday! The handicapping soiree has already started, and it continues with a 10-race card that is sure to bring some value.

Our turfwriter J.N. Campbell will be with you every step of the way, as we head towards the Oaks on Friday and the Derby on Saturday. One of the highlights coming our way is the new Matt Winn Turf Course, which opens with a brand new sodded surface. Watch the weather ... rain will be affecting both surfaces ...

At we have you covered, including all of the action! It is a good time for some of the best that North American racing has to offer. Stay tuned! If you're looking for picks elsewhere around the country this Wednesday be sure to check out our free Horse Racing Picks via the gold button below. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter ... Horseracing_USA !!!

Horse Racing Picks

Most Likely Winner: (Race 6: Extreme #5, 5/2):

If you are looking for a "for-sure" bet on Wednesday, then look at what Ray Handal is bringing to Churchill. His 5-yr-old by Speightstown was at Aqueduct over the winter, and he performed well in Starter Co. In fact, he probably should have won his last dirt sprint, but in the end, he just could not muster the energy to catch the winner. Shipping to Louisville, I would expect him to be ready to fire, especially with Handal’s “run-and-gun” New York spirit. This one is in-form, and when you throw in an experienced pilot like Gerardo Corrales, then it could be the recipe for victory.

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Win, #5


Off-the-Pace Play of the Day: (Race 7: Speight’spercomete #1, 10/1):

Speaking of the sire Speightstown … Looking for some value on this Wednesday card, I would not gloss over the training ability of Dallas Stewart or the angle of a horse getting a cutting back. Mr. Charles Fipke bred and also owns this 4-yr-old, and he is going to be a great price when it is time to head to the gate. Most will shy away from backing this colt because his last pair of route races at the Fair Grounds were real duds. We saw runners come to Keeneland that were competing at the OC17.5n1x level in New Orleans, and they performed admirably. The addition of “Blinks,” plus the services of Luis Saez (a superb rider), all are signs that this one can make the move to ALLW Co. Bet … bet … bet … I know I will …

Wagering Recommendation: $100 Bankroll, Graduated Wager WPS #1 ($10-W, $15-P, $75-S)


Spotlight Race of the Day: (Race 8: Dirt, 6F, St. Matthews Overnight S., $160k, 4+):

The “feature” on the Churchill card mid-week, is this 6-furlong dash on the MT. How will the surface play come Wednesday? Well, that is anyone’s guess, but I do know that “clean faces, win races,” so maybe looking for some frontend speed is the way to go. I think it is pretty much a foregone conclusion that Bill Mott’s Baby Yoda #7 will be the race time favorite. The gelding by Prospective really had a nice “freshening” over at Keeneland last month, when he took on some paltry comp in of all races, a Starter. Mott used that as a springboard to this race, which if you compare it to the Grade 1 Malibu S. back at Santa Anita in December against Flightline, should also be a cinch. Taking a shot against the HOF conditioner, and Joel Rosario will not be easy, but I do like a runner in here that should bring some major value. I know most bettors will probably overlook Robertino Diodoro’s Tiger Dad #8, but they shouldn’t. The reason is simple … he is a Turf Paradise horse. That track, near Phoenix, Arizona, does not get much respect, but that doesn’t mean good horses don’t run well when they are shipped to other locales. Diodoro, who hails from Canada but began to train extensively in AZ, cut this one back against a good group of 8 others in a “Non-G” last time. His sire, Smiling Tiger, is a perennial producer of “sprint-types,” and I like the fact that Diodoro’s regular rider at Oaklawn, David Cohen gets aboard. He is going to be a big price at over 20/1, and I would not count out these connections. One other runner that warrants a look is Johnny Ortiz’s Top Gunner #4. The gelding by Into Mischief just won by a neck against some tough foes back at Oaklawn Park in mid-April. The speed fig was sharp, and now the hot-riding Rey Gutierrez gets the call. His aggressive ability makes this one worth including. This looks like a juicy race to try and take a ‘capping bite out of …

Wagering Recommendation: Trifecta Box, 4/7/8


Derby Week is in full swing under the Twin Spires! Best of luck on another run at Churchill Downs!

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